Maternal mortality a big issue for women's health in US

Released: 
July 14, 2013

The U.S. maternal mortality rate doubled in the past 25 years.

Last Friday the Texas Legislature passed a strict new abortion bill - the same bill that was the subject of a prior filibuster that garnered national attention. Proponents of the bill argue that it protects women's health, while opponents argue that it restricts health choices for women.

With women's health back in the spotlight, we're taking another look at one of our earliest facts - one that points to a big health issue that the US is lagging behind in.

The United States spends $98 billion annually on hospitalization for pregnancy and childbirth, but the US maternal mortality rate has doubled in the past 25 years. The U.S. ranks 50th in the world for maternal mortality, meaning 49 countries were better at keeping new mothers alive.

See who’s number one – and who’s last – in today’s infographic, then discuss below. Why the decline despite the high investment?